About Powell Gardens’ Guided Youth Programs
Powell Gardens offers a variety of themed program options for youth in grades K-5, perfect for school or scout groups. Each guided program is 90 minutes and incorporates field journals, nature investigations, science skills, and nature games. These standards-based school programs are designed to supplement science content covered in the classroom with fun and engaging learning activities. Once the program is finished, spend the day touring the other garden areas and nature trail. Ample space is available for each group to enjoy lunch before or after programs.
Guided programs must be reserved at least two weeks in advance of the desired date and are scheduled weekdays between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. These programs require a group minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 60 students per time slot. Teachers receive free admission.
*An adult to student ratio of at least 1:10 is mandatory but no more than one adult for every five students is permitted. Exceptions apply.
The Booking Process
To reserve a guided school program, please request a program and date using the online reservation system. You will be asked to select the program start time, the number of children attending, and the type of program. The email address provided will be used to provide updates leading up to the program. All programs are 90 minutes in length and begin at the time you select in the reservation system. Please select a start time of either 9:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. Groups may enjoy the Gardens after the 90-minute guided program is completed.
Interested in custom options? Powell Gardens staff can work with your group to design a program applicable to your students’ grade levels.
Guided Program Fees
Students – $8
Chaperones – $10
Teachers/Staff – Free
*All program requests are considered tentative until confirmed via email. Your group will be sent an invoice once the field trip details are confirmed.
Schedule a Guided Visit
Reservation Request FormTour reservations for the Education Department.
About Self-Guided School Visits
Schools wanting to bring a group of students to the Gardens, and are not reserving a guided program, are expected to schedule a self-guided visit by filling in the self-guided visit form. The number of school groups in the Gardens is closely managed because group spaces are limited. School teachers and staff receive free admission and space is provided to store lunch bags for the day.
Self-Guided Visit Fees
Students – $4
Parents – $10
Teachers – Free
*All reservation requests are considered tentative until confirmed via email. We currently do not have group rates.
The Booking Process
To reserve a self-guided group visit, please complete the group visit request form. Please select a preferred and alternate date and time, provide the number of attendees, and include your contact information. Payment will be accepted the day of arrival.
2021-2022 Guided School Program Options
Why are squirrels often found in woodlands? Why are spring peepers always near small forested ponds in spring? Why are antlions always in loose soil? These are among many of the questions in nature students will discover answers to. This program takes students through our 170 acres of cultivated and natural landscapes to discover the relationships between the needs of different plants and animals and the places they live. Students will use their five senses to discover the natural world during this 90-minute nature walk. Field notebooks and other observational naturalist tools are used in this experience.
Standard: K.ESS3.A.1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
What needs of local plants and animals are met by the places they live?
Goal: Students will learn that plants and animals have unique needs and those needs influence where plants and animals live/survive.
Which flying insects use straws to drink in nature? Which Missouri amphibian is the local version of the chameleon? Why do seeds have parachutes? Students discover answers to these questions and explore the many other examples of biomimicry in our 170 acres of cultivated and natural landscapes. By the end of this 90-minute program, students will have brainstormed solutions to human problems by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. Field notebooks and other observational naturalist tools are used in this experience.
Standards: 1.LS1.A.1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
What problems can humans solve by using ideas from nature?
Goal: Students will learn about the unique characteristics of plants and animals and use those traits to solve challenges and problems in our lives.
Why could one argue that squirrels are better gardeners than us? Why is poison ivy actually a good plant to have on your property? Why do seeds comes in all shapes and sizes? Bring your students to Powell Gardens to find out answers to these questions and many more related to plant pollination and seed dispersal. This 90-minute program takes students on a journey during which they learn ways insects pollinate flowers and seeds are dispersed. Students will become pollinating bees, investigate pollinators in the garden, and mimic seed dispersing behaviors. Field notebooks and other observational naturalist tools are used in this experience.
Standards: 2.LS2.A.2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
What makes pollinator and plant relationships unique and essential?
How do seeds move from their mother plant to new locations to grow?
Goal: Students will learn how plants and animals have unique relationships that help accomplish plant pollination and seed dispersal.
Have you ever seen a banana tree growing bananas? Do you know what a pollywog is? What is the inside of a caterpillar’s chrysalis like before emerging as a beautiful butterfly? All species of plants and animals have life cycles ¬¬ many of them are similar but many more are so unique they are hard to believe. Bring your students to Powell Gardens to investigate the life cycles of some of the resident plants and animals in our 170 acres of cultivated and natural landscapes during this 90-minute program. Students will take home their own bean plants to complete the life cycle, from seed to harvest. Field notebooks and other observational tools are used in this experience.
Standards: 3.LS1.B.1 Develop a model to compare and contrast observations on the life cycle of different plants and animals.
How are animal and plant life cycles similar but different?
Goal: Students will gain understanding that all animals and plants have life cycles even though some may look different than others, take different amounts of time to occur, and have differing numbers of stages.
Why do flowers have colors and designs we cannot see? Why does a caterpillar inflate part of its body when it is touched? How can birds fly without flapping their wings? Bring your students to Powell Gardens to discover answers to these questions and learn about many more fascinating plant and animal structures. During this 90-minute school program, students will conduct an experiment involving bees, pollination, and flower designs. By the end of the program, students will have formulated an evidence-based conclusion regarding how flower structures function to support survival and plant reproduction. Field notebooks and other observational naturalist tools are used in this experience.
Standards: 4.LS1.A.1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and plant reproduction. [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.]
How do animal and plant internal and external structures function to support survival, growth, behavior, and plant reproduction?
Goal: Students will improve their understanding of how animals and plants use their internal and external structures to survive and reproduce.
From where does a tree get its mass (it’s not from where you likely think it is)? Matter is cycled, but how is the energy lost? Bring your students to Powell Gardens to discover answers to these and many more plant life cycle questions. During this 90-minute school program, students will engage in hands-on investigation and exploration to determine what plants need to grow and where the plants get what they need to survive. Students will go full circle with the plant life cycle to gain understanding of how matter is cycled and energy is acquired to produce edible fruits and vegetables. Students will investigate seeds, produce, and tree cookies during hands-on lessons. Field notebooks and other observational tools are used in this experience.
5. PS3.D.1 Use models to describe that energy stored in food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. [Clarification Statement: Examples of models could include diagrams and flow charts].
5. LS1.C.1 Support an argument that plants get the materials (i.e. carbon dioxide, water, sunlight) they need for growth chiefly from air and water. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil. Clarification Statement: Do not assess photosynthesis.]
5. LS2.B.1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that matter that is not food (air, water, decomposed materials in soil) is changed by plants into matter that is food. Examples of systems could include organisms, ecosystems, and the Earth.]
Where does the matter and energy come from for plants to grow in our gardens?
Goal: Students will gain understanding of the process of how matter and energy are part of the growing processes in our gardens.
This is a private after-school content-driven experience available all year that a middle school team (or a district’s middle school) can book and plan together with Powell Gardens’ education staff. Students arrive by bus with the required number of chaperones (one for every ten students) to explore aspects of their science curriculum. A general theme shapes the evening and three hands-on stations and a short talk comprise the events. All bookings must be made at least three months prior to the desired date of the program.
Maximum group size is 100 students.
Additional supply fees may be required based on content.
- $4 per student
- $10 per adult
- Teachers are free of charge
For the best experience and as a courtesy to the garden and its fellow visitors, please reserve a time in advance. This allows us to make sure your group is included on our group visit schedule so we can greet you and ensure you have a quality experience at the Gardens. One chaperone for every ten students is required—no exceptions. Chaperone guidelines will be emailed to you prior to your visit.